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Transportation Conformity Highlights

November 2006

Prepared by the Office of Natural and Human Environment Federal Highway Administration

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Announcements

CMAQ Guidance Released. On October 31, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) released guidance on the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program (CMAQ) under the Safe, Accountable. Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). This Interim Guidance replaces the April 1999 guidance. The guidance discusses the changes to the CMAQ program under SAFETEA-LU. Notable changes to the CMAQ program include the statutory direction to give priority consideration to cost-effective diesel emission and congestion reduction projects, and highlighted eligibility for non-road diesel retrofit projects. The guidance includes five appendices including one on the Comparative Cost Effectiveness of Potential CMAQ Projects and one on Considerations for Diesel Retrofit projects. For more information see: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/air_quality/cmaq/policy_and_guidance/2006_guidance/index.cfm.

EPA Finalized Deferral of the 8-hour Ozone Nonattainment Designations for the 14 Early Action Compact (EAC) Areas. In the Federal Register published on November 29, 2006, EPA finalized the deferral of the effective date of the 8-hour ozone nonattainment designations for 14 areas. The progress these 14 areas have made under EPA's Early Actions Compacts (EAC) program puts them on track to meet clean air requirements one to two years sooner than required. The areas are: Frederick County/Winchester, VA; Roanoke area, VA; Washington County/Hagerstown, MD; Berkeley & Jefferson Counties, WV; Hickory-Morganton-Lenoir area, NC; Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point area, NC; Fayetteville, NC; Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, SC; Columbia area, SC; Chattanooga area, TN/GA; Nashville area, TN; Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol area, TN; San Antonio area, TX; and Denver-Boulder-Greeley-Ft. Collins-Love area, CO.

The final rule changes the date Clean Air Act Requirements would take effect for 13 EAC areas from Dec. 31, 2006 to April 15, 2008 and to July 1, 2007 for the Denver area. If these areas meet the 8-hour standard for ground-level ozone by Dec. 31, 2007, they will be designated as in attainment. For more information see: http://epa.gov/oar/eac/index.html

AMPO Air Quality Group Meets in Atlanta. On October 16 and 17, the AMPO Air Quality Work Group met in Atlanta, GA at the offices of the Atlanta Regional Commission. Attendance included fifteen MPOs from around the country, Georgia Department of Transportation and Georgia Regional Transportation Authority staffs and representatives from U.S. EPA and FHWA. The agenda was very full with discussions of HMPS, PM2.5 Hot-Spot analysis, the new NAAQS for PM2.5, nonattainment boundary issues, and CMAQ and training needs. For more information, contact: rdenbow@ampo.org.

Errors in NMIM Files. On November 15, EPA Announced Errors in NMIM County Database NCD20060201. These files specify the years that various NLEV standards apply. The errors affect NOX and VOC emissions from on-road light-duty gasoline vehicles in six states for inventories generated for calendar years 2004 and later: The states are Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Vermont. The errors in these files result in overestimation of NOX and VOC emissions from light duty gasoline vehicles in 2004 and subsequent years. The overestimation is close to 2004, but becomes progressively greater in later years as the fleet turns over. Only NMIM runs for calendar years 2004 and later for the states listed above are affected by this error. EPA plans to distribute a revised database with corrected versions of these files. If you have any questions, please email EPA at mobile@epa.gov

Training Opportunities

National Transit Institute Course: Introduction to Transportation Conformity. The NTI course, Introduction to Transportation Conformity has been updated to reflect SAFETEA-LU changes and new information about PM2.5 requirements. The course will be offered November 28-30, 2006 in Chicago, IL; 12-14 in New York City, NY and January 16-18 in Las Vegas, NV. . These are three of the four course offerings to be scheduled between September 2006 and July 1, 2007. The location of the fourth course offering is in Raleigh, NC, with a specific date yet to be determined. For information see: http://www.ntionline.com/.

FHWA Resource Center Training Activities. FHWA's Resource Center Air Quality Technical Services Team is available to offer air quality-related training opportunities and information is available at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/airquality/courses.cfm.

Conference

Transportation, Land-Use Planning, and Air Quality Conference 2007:The next in a series of Transportation Land-Use, Planning, and Air Quality Conferences will be held on July 9 - 11, 2007 in Orlando, Florida. The focus of the conference, which is jointly sponsored by several organizations, is the latest developments in transportation planning and land use modeling and new developments and strategies in air quality including transportation planning and land use planning processes that result in air quality benefits. The conference will focus on the technical and data implications of transportation land-use planning. For additional information see: http://www.ctre.iastate.edu/educweb/transaq/transaq2007.htm.

If you have any suggestions for future monthly conformity highlights, please email: ssiwek@aol.com.

FHWA Resource Center Air Quality Team Contacts:
http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/resourcecenter/teams/airquality/index.cfm.

Updated: 07/10/2014
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